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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TdF '21 Discussion Thread Stage 21 Jul18 SPOILER ALERT

Many but not all viewers are familiar with the unique arrangement of this final-stage tradition.

This final stage is a 65-mile flat stage from 33 or so miles to the Champs Elysees, passing Versailles and a few other points of note along the way. Then, the final 32 miles is performed as eight circuits of about four miles each, up and down the Champs Elysees. Finish is on this circuit's straight-away after the final time around Le Arc de Triomf.

The road is broad - obviously. But the turns serve to spread the riders out pretty well. This is definitely a sprinter's stage. As they loop, a few yahoos will "attack" off the front, but will ceremoniously get swallowed up. Great face-time for the sponsors. Toward the final couple of miles, the sprinter teams and sprinters really work for position. As noted, the sharp turn every two miles, and the severe pace, make this very difficult. As the end approaches, Morkov leads out Cavendish who stuns everyone with yet another rocket-like performance, grabbing the All-Time-Stage-Winner recognition, which will stand for at least three decades.

But it doesn't have to be like this. You could break the cycle. A non-threatening group could attack off the front, early on. Just for a bit of notoriety. As was done on Stage 19. The peloton would bring them back. But if the pace is fierce enough, and if there are several sustained attacks, in time-trial style, the riders would get spread out enough to upset the predictable ending.

Either way, champagne will be sipped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
prototypical, iconic final stage race action -
480094
 

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Cav got robbed. Philipsen came too far across the road and boxed him in. Wout was great but Cav never really had the chance to contest it man to man. That was a damn shame.
 

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Glad the record wasn't broken. Nothing against Cav but Eddie won his stages on sprints, time trials, and mountain stages. The GOAT.
 

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Cav got robbed. Philipsen came too far across the road and boxed him in. Wout was great but Cav never really had the chance to contest it man to man. That was a damn shame.
OMG! I was busy with stuff all day starting at 8:15.
I just now dragged my son over to watch the final few KM. I had already checked news and seen that Cav did not wni.

But on watching, I saw the craziness at the finish. Then, I see the elbowing from Philipsen on may be the 4th time we watched the final few seconds.

I pointed it out to my son by replaying the final moments, and he kind of saw it.

He said 'slow it down.' So we watched it at 50% time.

Cav was robbed! Elbowed 4 times!
 

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OMG! I was busy with stuff all day starting at 8:15.
I just now dragged my son over to watch the final few KM. I had already checked news and seen that Cav did not wni.

But on watching, I saw the craziness at the finish. Then, I see the elbowing from Philipsen on may be the 4th time we watched the final few seconds.

I pointed it out to my son by replaying the final moments, and he kind of saw it.

He said 'slow it down.' So we watched it at 50% time.

Cav was robbed! Elbowed 4 times!

Looked to me like Philipson had the wheel in front of him and Cav tried horn in and Philipson held his ground. Cav screwed up when he lost his lead out man, he was behind Cav.
 

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Glad the record wasn't broken. Nothing against Cav but Eddie won his stages on sprints, time trials, and mountain stages. The GOAT.
I wholeheartedly agree.

The five times Eddy won the GC - three times he won the Green jersey, got second the other two times. During those five GC victories, he won the Polka Dot jersey twice, was second twice, and third the other time.
 

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Glad the record wasn't broken. Nothing against Cav but Eddie won his stages on sprints, time trials, and mountain stages. The GOAT.
I'm glad the record wasn't broken too. Cav made a mess of the last km. He got off of Morkov's wheel and was waiting for a hole to open up. It never did.
 

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Glad the record wasn't broken. Nothing against Cav but Eddie won his stages on sprints, time trials, and mountain stages. The GOAT.
Stage wins are stage wins. Cav could have broken the record and Merckx would still be the GOAT.

To me it wasn’t so much about a hole opening, it was there and got closed off by Philipsen.
 

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I find Cavendish to be incredibly douchey, so I'm totally cool with his result. I get the intense competitor vibe, but there are plenty of other specialists (sprinters) who somehow manage to be less....abrasive. Oh well, he can try again next year.
 

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Here is a screen grab: Cav getting "closed off" by Philipsen.
Philipsen has his elbow so far over in Cav's personal space, Philipsen might as well "Swipe Right" on Cav's profile.

This screen grab is from NBC's extended highlight video on you tube. Anyone can watch and decide whether Cav was holding his line, or not. And whether Philipsen had some reason, or did not, for putting his elbow in Cav's way.

Philipsen did not merely "close off" Cav's line; Philipsen blocked him physically by elbow way out there. More than once.

Sure, Cav may be a "douche." So, it is OK for rules to be broken against him?

At the same time, there is another question: could Cav had committed to the left side, and been fine? If you watch these few moments, when there is a camera shot from the front, you could see Cav float over to the right, then back to the left.

He would have been close to the barriers, but too close for comfort?

480118
 

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Cavendish and Dec/Quick Step messed up at several points in the stage. First of all, Cavendish should not have gone for the intermediate sprint. He shoulda saved his legs for the finish.

Second, Cavendish did not stay on Morkov's wheel. He opted for Wout's wheel. If he had stayed with Morkov (who was a couple of riders behind him and off to the right), Cavendish would've had a clear shot to the finish like up the right side of the road.

Cavendish messed up.
 

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Here is a screen grab: Cav getting "closed off" by Philipsen.
Philipsen has his elbow so far over in Cav's personal space, Philipsen might as well "Swipe Right" on Cav's profile.

This screen grab is from NBC's extended highlight video on you tube. Anyone can watch and decide whether Cav was holding his line, or not. And whether Philipsen had some reason, or did not, for putting his elbow in Cav's way.

Philipsen did not merely "close off" Cav's line; Philipsen blocked him physically by elbow way out there. More than once.

Sure, Cav may be a "douche." So, it is OK for rules to be broken against him?

At the same time, there is another question: could Cav had committed to the left side, and been fine? If you watch these few moments, when there is a camera shot from the front, you could see Cav float over to the right, then back to the left.

He would have been close to the barriers, but too close for comfort?

View attachment 480118
Here is a screen grab: Cav getting "closed off" by Philipsen.
Philipsen has his elbow so far over in Cav's personal space, Philipsen might as well "Swipe Right" on Cav's profile.

This screen grab is from NBC's extended highlight video on you tube. Anyone can watch and decide whether Cav was holding his line, or not. And whether Philipsen had some reason, or did not, for putting his elbow in Cav's way.

Philipsen did not merely "close off" Cav's line; Philipsen blocked him physically by elbow way out there. More than once.

Sure, Cav may be a "douche." So, it is OK for rules to be broken against him?

At the same time, there is another question: could Cav had committed to the left side, and been fine? If you watch these few moments, when there is a camera shot from the front, you could see Cav float over to the right, then back to the left.

He would have been close to the barriers, but too close for comfort?

View attachment 480118
To me, that was one of the most legit sprints I've seen. Philipsen was sprinting. I don't think the rules state that you have to give up a wheel just because Cav wants it. Also, there's an entire body width between Cav and the barriers. DQS blew it on stage 21.
 

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To me, that was one of the most legit sprints I've seen. Philipsen was sprinting. I don't think the rules state that you have to give up a wheel just because Cav wants it. Also, there's an entire body width between Cav and the barriers. DQS blew it on stage 21.
Philipsen had a line to the finish, but crossed left and pulled in front of Cav. I could see if he was looking for Wout’s slipstream, but Cav was already there. All he did was box Cav in. As for the “body width” on the left, even the slightest deviation from Wout would have put Cav in the barrier at 40mph. He never had a clear path to contest the sprint. You can even see where Cav has to stop pedaling for a moment because they’re moving slower. Wout held his line and won fair and square, but Philipsen kept Cav from being able to contest the sprint. Therefore, I think Cav was robbed. Kudos to him, though, he hasn’t been complaining about it (as far as I know).
 

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Cavendish did not stay on Morkov's wheel. He opted for Wout's wheel. If he had stayed with Morkov (who was a couple of riders behind him and off to the right), Cavendish would've had a clear shot to the finish like up the right side of the road.

Cavendish messed up.
Unless Morkov didn’t have the legs at the end. In which case Cav did the right thing by grabbing Wout’s wheel… until Philipsen cut him off. Either way, though, it’s arguing a woulda/coulda/shoulda as opposed to what actually happened.
 

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Philipsen had a line to the finish, but crossed left and pulled in front of Cav. I could see if he was looking for Wout’s slipstream, but Cav was already there. All he did was box Cav in. As for the “body width” on the left, even the slightest deviation from Wout would have put Cav in the barrier at 40mph. He never had a clear path to contest the sprint. You can even see where Cav has to stop pedaling for a moment because they’re moving slower. Wout held his line and won fair and square, but Philipsen kept Cav from being able to contest the sprint. Therefore, I think Cav was robbed. Kudos to him, though, he hasn’t been complaining about it (as far as I know).
Cav is not complaining and Philipsen was not relegated because there is nothing to complain about or be relegated for. Cavendish is not guaranteed a clear path to the line. He made some bad choices and the sprint did not go his way.
 
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